The map: For your amusement

Gasp! At an avocado. Thrill! To a dog. Shriek! At the Collective Farm Girl monument. Nowadays, says Jane Delmer, there is a theme park for everyone

Vinopolis, London. If you thought wacky theme parks were something only foolish foreigners do, get ready for a new London theme park dedicated entirely to wine. Vinopolis will present "all the pleasures of wine under one roof". Experience the best Italian vintages while sitting on a miniature Vespa, or sample the delights of France in a 2CV filled with flowers. But you'll have to wait - it's not open until 29 June.

Santa's Village and Sportsland, Bracebridge, Ontario, Canada. Concerned that Santa may be overworking himself in Lapland, the kindly citizens of Bracebridge decided to build him a summer holiday home in 1955. Thanks to them you can now enjoy seasonal spirit all year round at this Christmas-in-the-summertime theme park. There are no real reindeer (as they prefer a cooler climate), but there are some imported fallow deer instead. Open summer season only.

Dollywood, Smoky Mountain, US. Tennessee's number-one tourist attraction dedicated to the Barbara Windsor of country music. Visit the Dolly Parton museum exhibiting 2,000 Dolly-related items or watch Paradise Road, a musical telling the story of the buxom one's journey from down-home gal to international superstardom. If you're hungry, why not treat yourself to some fresh pork rinds fried before indulging in a spot of bluegrass pick'n and sing'n.

Moomin World, Nantaali, Finland. Meet Snork maiden, Moomintroll and all the other characters from Tove Jansson's books brought to life on this tiny Baltic Island. Explore Moominpapa's ship, but don't expect roller coasters or Burger King, as you'll be disappointed. There is no technology or fast food here, just actors who speak only Moomin and hug everyone in sight. Open daily from 6 June to 16 August. Very popular with small children and the Japanese.

Parc Walibi Schtroumpf, Lorraine, France. "To transform dreams into reality", a theme park close to the Belgian border has been dedicated entirely to the Smurfs, those blue gnomes still inexplicably popular on the Continent. Frighteningly, their records have outsold The Beatles and Pink Floyd combined in some countries. Come and spend your Euroschtroumpfs (Smurf money) at the park with the longest wooden roller coaster in Europe. Open from 11 April until 25 October.

Huis ten Bosch, Nagasaki, Japan. A full-sized re-creation of a Dutch city featuring replicas of authentic historical buildings, Huis ten Bosch is, they say, "more nice than your imaginations". Meander down the canals in copies of 17th-century Dutch boats or enjoy the musical show (Bon Voyage de Liefde) staged on an imitation of the eponymous Dutch ship found stranded on the Japanese coast in 1600. Unfortunately you can't go on board.

Dog's Town, Tokyo, Japan. "A place where humans and dogs can link their hearts", this homage to the domestic pooch is incredibly popular with the locals, many of whom could not swing a chihuahua in their tiny city apartments. The Small Dogs Shopping Centre features a dog in every shop window which are let out of their glass cases to perform tricks for the cooing punters. For around pounds 5, you too can fawn over 40 different breeds of hound in this unique doggy theme park.

Exhibition of Economic Achievements (known as VDNKh), Moscow, Russia. Described as a Stalinesque Disneyland, visitors can experience the Soviet state vision on a grandiose scale: 80 pavilions featuring everything from grain to atomic energy stretch over the 578 acres of this Communist fantasy world. See the colossal Worker and Collective Farm Girl monument or even the model electricity power stations of the future. Open seven days a week, entry is free on weekends and holidays.

Splendid China, Shenzhen Bay, China. Shenzhen boasts not one, but three theme parks. Splendid China vaunts all of China's most famous landmarks in miniature - a day here and you won't need to visit the rest of the country. Window of the World does the same for places of interest around the globe - marvel at a tiny Eiffel Tower and Sydney Opera House. And finally there's the China Folk Culture Village, 24 life-size "villages", each dedicated to one of the country's many ethnic minorities.

Tropical Fruit World, Tweed Valley, New South Wales, Australia. Formerly Avocadoland where you could tour avocado orchards, eat avocado ice cream and drink avocado milkshakes, this park has expanded in the past two years to cover all forms of rare and tropical fruit in Australia. Enjoy the views from the rim of the largest volcano in the southern hemisphere or pop across to the World of Horticulture in Coffs Harbour, a theme park dedicated, apparently, to bananas.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookPart of The Independent’s new eBook series The Great Composers
Arts and Entertainment
Chris Martin of Coldplay performs live for fans at Enmore Theatre on June 19, 2014 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images)
music
Sport
Dave Mackay lifts the FA Cup in 1967 having skippered Spurs to victory
football
Life and Style
Marie had fake ID, in the name of Johanna Koch, after she evaded capture by the Nazis in wartime Berlin
historyOne woman's secret life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
News
Jihadi John
newsMonikers like 'Jihadi John' make the grim sound glamorous
Arts and Entertainment
As depicted in Disney's Robin Hood, King John was cowardly, cruel, avaricious and incompetent
film
Life and Style
Travis Kalanick, the co-founder of Uber, is now worth $5.3bn
tech
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Recruitment Genius: Media Sales Executives - B2B

    £20000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Recruitment Genius Ltd continue...

    Recruitment Genius: Media Sales Executives - B2B

    £20000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Recruitment Genius Ltd continue...

    Recruitment Genius: Online Media Sales Trainee

    £15000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: If you have the right attitude,...

    Ashdown Group: Client Services Executive - Enfield, North London

    Negotiable: Ashdown Group: Client Services Executive - Enfield, North London ...

    Day In a Page

    Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

    Climate change key in Syrian conflict

    And it will trigger more war in future
    How I outwitted the Gestapo

    How I outwitted the Gestapo

    My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
    The nation's favourite animal revealed

    The nation's favourite animal revealed

    Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
    Is this the way to get young people to vote?

    Getting young people to vote

    From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot
    Poldark star Heida Reed: 'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'

    Poldark star Heida Reed

    'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'
    The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

    The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

    Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
    Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

    Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

    Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
    Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

    David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

    The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
    Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

    Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

    Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
    With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

    Money, corruption and drugs

    The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
    America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

    150 years after it was outlawed...

    ... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
    Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

    Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

    The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
    Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

    You won't believe your eyes

    Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
    Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

    Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

    The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
    War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

    The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

    Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn